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Origami Embryo Demo Movie

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5.0 out of 5 stars from 8 ratings.
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Description A 20 minute movie demonstrating Kathryn Tosney's origami embryo exercise, attached to some labeled illustrations, in situ and SEM images of embryos at comparable stages. It expands on the visuals available in the original written directions to help students who are auditory learners.
Type of Resource Assignment/Activity (Non-Laboratory/Non-Hands on Activity), Online Tool, Tutorial, Video
Format Web Page - HTML
Technical Note Includes PDF and .cfm through the HTML link.
Diana Darnell, University of Arizona
Development Date December 10, 2008
Grade/Age Levels Middle School (Grades 6-8)
High School lower division (Grades 9-10)
High School upper division (Grades 11-12)
Undergraduate lower division (Grades 13-14)
Undergraduate upper division (Grades 15-16)
Professional (degree program)
National Science
Educational Standards
Evidence, models, and explanation (K-12), Form and function (K-12), Reproduction and heredity (5-8), Structure and function in living systems (5-8), Systems, order, and organization (K-12)
Learning Time <=1 hour
Language English
Type of Review Reviewed by SDB Peer Reviewers
Review Date July 7, 2009
Funding Source Other
Suggested Use


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Very well done! This is a great hands-on activity that could be adapted to a variety of levels. This is a challenging topic to teach and my students struggle with visualizing this.  I think having students model this using the origami activity would definitely be an "Aha!" moment. The micrographs at the bottom of the activity allow students to connect this modeling activity with actual embryos.

cindy surmacz, Bloomsburg University

Everyone was raving about this exercise so I had to check it out.  So helpful for describing the layers of tissue during development. 

camille jensen, Lincoln Way North High School

This video helped me prepare for teaching the Origami Embryo activity with my students.  It was helpful to see the teacher's explanation and allowed me to decide what I will focus on when I use the activity.    The activity itself is a cool hands on way to demonstrate valuable principles of developmental biology.  We will use this activity as we are incubating chick eggs this semster.  

Jenny Sarna, Farragut Career Academy

A great activity that illustrate the development of different embryonic layers in vertebrates. It gives the sense to what happens in real life. A great simple experiment to be done in the lab. The resource was clear in explaining every steps of the hands-on activity.


Lubna Abu-Niaaj, Central State University

The hands-on activity  demonstrates the formation of embryonic layers very clearly. It can be performed in a short time, using cheap simple material. In addition, it can be done individually or in a small group.

Lubna Abu-Niaaj, Central State University

This was a great hands-on activity for my upper level developmental biology course.  We use this embryo throughout the semester to show migration pathways. 

Emily Bradshaw, University of Central Florida

Excellent production values; clear illustrations, great images, and clear narration.
Michael McGinnis, Spelman College

One of my med students said: yea! now she finally understands vertebrate morphogenesis.
Diana Darnell, U of Arizona